At different times in the past 500 million years the area that is now Eden has been part of a volcanic continental margin south of the Equator, a shallow tropical sea, a searing desert and an ice-covered wilderness.
The exhibition 'Ages of Eden', in the upper gallery at the Museum, provides a snapshot of these dramatic changes. Here you can see a selection of the area’s intriguing rocks and fossils, including a fossil footprint of an early type of reptile that lived before the age of the dinosaurs, found in Bowscar Quarry near Penrith. Also on show is a recent discovery of a rare trilobite by local schoolboy James Gee, which experts at the Natural History Museum in London described as ‘a brilliant find’.
Admiral Robert Wauchope who lived locally, was one of the earliest amateur geologists you can see fossils collected him. Though collected in France, they show creatures which may well have once been present in northern England.
Mines and minerals
The enormous geological changes that occurred over millions of years led to many episodes of mineral formation. Lying either side of the Eden Valley, the North Pennines and the Caldbeck Fells are both famous for the variety of their minerals. The displays include fine examples from both areas along with historic photos and information about the old Scordale lead mine near Murton.